Asian Kitchen Essentials
The Asian kitchen essentials are bound to reflect an amalgamation of cultures from across the continent. There are many tools that are exchanged across these cultures. Here is a guide for reference about what kind of tools, can one find in an Asian kitchen.
The below listed traditional tools are used in Asian cuisines. They belong to the various cultures across Asia but the same tools are used in all the Asian countries in different sizes and shapes.
Japanese Donabe Smoker.
It enables the cook to make perfectly smoked dishes. Water is poured between the Donabe body and the lid. This helps the lid to be perfectly sealed and does not let the smoke to be released outside. The smoky aroma stays inside and adds a flavor to the ingredients with some amount of smoke chips. Also, the smoking time is quite less since the donabe is usually glazed from outside. This induces the infrared radiations which quickens the cooking process.
This is a rice paddle used to stir and serve rice and mix vinegar into it for preparing sushi. Traditionally made from wood, bamboo, lacquer, these are now available in plastic also. In modern rice cookers, a plastic Shamoji is included in the box.
It is a rice table or rice bowl made of cypress wood and two copper bands. The barrels used at home are usually of the diameter of about 30 cm. It is used to dress and cool the rice after being cooked. On cooking, it is transferred to the Hangiri and tossed on mixing with a dressing of vinegar, sugar, and salt. In the end, it is then covered with a cloth called the fukin, and allowed to cool.
A wok or a frying pan can be used to bake, dry roast, fry, boil, steam, brew, and braise food. It is usually made up of steel and aluminum these days. It is highly recommended to use a carbon steel Wok that has a round bottom. Also, such a Wok needs to be seasoned, before being put to use. These usually come with a steel ring to hold the Wok in place while cooking.
An Asian kitchen is incomplete without a traditional Bamboo steamer that can be used as a serving tray as well. More than one layer of food can be steamed in these steamers which is quite advantageous.
Japanese Saibashi or Chopsticks.
Saibashi or chopsticks can be used for stir-frying, mixing ingredients and eating food as well due to easy maneuverability through the food. The south-east Asian way of having food using chopsticks might reflect to be difficult but it is an art nonetheless.
Vietnamese Clay pot.
Clay pot cooking is a traditional way of cooking food across Asia. Food is cooked in an unglazed clay pot that is soaked wet in water for about 15-20 minutes and then filled with ingredients. During the cooking process, steam is released that helps to create a tender flavorful dish.
Grinding bowl/mortar and pestle/Japanese Suribachi.
It is a stone mortar that can be used for grinding spices, crushing herbs or garlic that add the flavor to any kind of Asian cuisine.